“so, last year you went to apple fest… and now you’re off to grape jam?” natalie asked me last week. it hadn’t occurred to me but apparently there isn’t a fruit festival i miss. don’t get me wrong, i’m fine with it. more than fine, actually. i’m a full-fledged fruit groupie. apricots are my favorite but since i have yet to find its corresponding fete, i’ll just keep working the apple/grape circuit. these festivals are often, for me, the highlight of whichever season they head up. plus, it usually means a much needed trip to the finger lakes region of new york state, where i went to college, and where i left my heart. i mean, not to be dramatic, but have you been?
so last weekend i met up with some of my favorite people to celebrate 30 years of winemaking on keuka lake at hunt country vineyards’ grape jam and we rocked the vineyards. i pulled that entire sentence straight off the poster, but i couldn’t have said it better myself. hunt country is a family farm and winery in the heart of new york’s celebrated finger lakes wine region. the farm’s 172 acres have been home to the hunt family for six generations, and boy do i love a family affair.
this year, my friend just happened to be helping out and the hunt team could not have made us feel more at home. the wines and specialty grape juice were top notch, and just what we needed after the long road trip north. nestled into the hilly vineyard was the main stage, along with tents for local bbq courtesy of good smoke. for the record, i’m still dreaming of their pulled pork tacos. it was the perfect way to spend a true summer weekend: a little off the grid, camping, some nighttime lake swimming, someplace called “the bluff”, mandatory bonfire and resultant s’mores overdose, live bluesy music, and wine at its source. a big thank you to the hunt family and their superstar team; here’s to hoping this becomes an annual event!